Life has been pretty busy at my house in the last few weeks. Kids activities, including soccer practices, track meets, theater rehearsals, and guests from Germany, birthdays, vet appointments, you name it, I am sure it could be found on my overflowing calender.
On crazy weeknight days I am always happy to fall back on a dinner, which I can make ahead or just pull out of the freezer like today’s featured pasta bake.
This pasta bake has been a family favorite for many years. I have a picture of my son 1 1/2 years of age sitting on my lap and picking the peas to eat out of the pasta bake. Combining rigatoni, peas and a semi homemade Bolognese sauce, topped with Gruyere cheese and finished in the oven this pasta bake turns out tasty, hot and bubbly. Serve it with some fresh green salad on the side for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Enjoy!
|Our Favorite Pasta Bake||
- 1 pound (500 g) organic, grass fed ground beef
- 1 jar ( 40 oz, 1 kg) organic marinara sauce, homemade or your favorite store bought
- 17.6 oz (500 g) organic pasta, I use penne ziti rigate
- 2 cups (250 g) organic frozen peas
- Gruyere cheese, shredded
- Cook pasta in salted water until cooked al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- In a bigger pan on high heat cook the ground beef, season with salt and pepper. Add marinara sauce and season with oregano. Set aside.
- In a bigger bowl combine pasta, marinara sauce with beef and peas. Mix well.
- Divide pasta mix in 6 – 8 individual baking dishes or in one 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Top with shredded Gruyere. (At this point you can freeze or refrigerate the dish for later usage.)
- Bake in the oven at 400 F until the cheese is melted and the pasta bake is hot and bubbly about 30 minutes.